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29

Yes, I think that children's online activities should be monitored but I don't think it's feasible in practice except for very young children. Older kids will always find a way to circumvent your control – but the good news is that they get more computer-literate in the process :-) To me it's the same as having someone supervise small children at the ...


18

"Porn" runs a wide gamut of idealized or fantasy scenarios. Many, if not most, of pornographic materials, portray intimate relations in a way that is not typical. I would imagine a pornographic movie that depicts the awkward "getting to know each other" phase, dating, and the social and emotional intimacy that most parents would hope their children would ...


18

One of our jobs as parents is teaching; using the internet to help with this task is fine, but before you do, teach them how to be safe when they're online. Teach your kids about online safety (posting/chatting in threads or forums, responding to contact requests, how to safely use passwords, keeping personal information safe and secure). It's never too ...


18

Before the days of the internet, parents tended to have a kind of God-like image in their child's mind and would be trusted to provide the right answers on a range of random topics that the child would be curious about. I often wonder how this works now with answers and information that is so easily accessible to everyone. I think part of the answer to ...


16

Do you monitor the books they read from the library? Do you monitor the music they listen to on the radio? Do you monitor the TV and Movies they watch? Do you monitor what they say and hear from their friends? If so, then I'd say yes... it's just yet another stream of content. Honestly, the easiest way to monitor, is to put the computer in a communal space ...


15

My son is 8, and I haven't taught him to use google yet, despite him having his own computer, but I have shown him many times. My main reason is that getting a good result on a general search engine is a relatively difficult skill. Getting a result on an appropriate level for an 8 year-old is even more difficult, especially on topics that schools typically ...


14

Wish I could comment on some of the other answers, but I'm a noob, so I can't... Anyway, there's absolutely nothing wrong with posting your pictures, your names, all of it. Continuing to promote "stranger danger" and god-forbid-someone-gets-teased and god-forbid-someone-finds-out-about-our-mistakes philosophies is really just silly. Let's get over all that ...


12

At sixteen years, the influence you have on the personality of your son is so minor as to be nonexistent. If you haven't managed to teach your son how to live well by now, you won't be able to overcome the influence of his friends and the current (internet active) culture. In my opinion it is best to stop controlling your son and to begin trusting him. If ...


11

In answer to my own question, this is one approach I've thought about, and it would be age dependent, so something like: 0-7 years, no unsupervised access. 8-13, unsupervised access allowed to a white list of sites, everything else blocked. 14-16, no blocking, but everything logged, so I can keep an eye on them. 16+, no blocking, no logging. (Presumably I ...


10

As an elementary school librarian, I was responsible for talking with students and parents about computer use. We focused a great deal about the very scary presence of predators on the internet. We encouraged parents to constantly talk with their children about what they are doing on the internet, who they are talking to, what sites they are visiting. I ...


10

I've always been the computer geek of my family and it was probably easier in the days when we only had one computer per household (I have three of my own now. And spares!). I've not been a parent, but from a kid's perspective... Engage don't spy. Talk to your kid about what he's doing. Computer programming is a very useful life skill in this day and age. ...


9

For website templates I'd like to suggest asking on the excellent Wordpress SE site. But that's not really your point. A decade ago it seemed common to create photo websites about their offspring. Back then, a website for Junior looked like a cool and sweet thing to do. Several of my fellow geeks did this. None of their sites are still online. With all of ...


9

Step 1: talk to him about this. He's 16, which means he's fairly close to being an adult and probably at least somewhat responsible. Let him know what you think is acceptable and what is not, and make some rules about computers in the house. Make sure to explain why you want to monitor his activities and block access to certain sites. This could include ...


9

There are a few obstacles: Ability to read, write, and spell. Even a first- or second-grade student who's pretty good at reading and writing may struggle to input an unfamiliar word or spelling. Search engines can guess did you mean [word]?, which may or may not be what they were actually trying to learn about. Search engines often now can use voice input ...


8

Porn is, even to adults, the junk food of sex; it is a complete fantasy, and while some of it may be plausible, the primary reason to watch porn is to see something you're not getting in your everyday life. While a certain amount of such escapism is normal and even healthy, it depicts activities that are typically more fun to do than to watch. A few genres ...


7

My policy is, you can post pictures without a name, or a name without a picture, but never together. Why? Because nothing can ever be removed from the Internet ever. It bugs me when people tag pictures of me with my name, or mention my kids online (but not enough to nag them about it). Information about me is mine to disclose or not, and I resent the fact ...


7

Here are some of my thoughts on the topic: What are the risks? Some freaks collect pictures for their own weird purposes. That's despicable but at least the real-life risk to your kids is so small as to be nonexistent. A bigger concern is, as has been said, schoolmates that use the pics for taunting and harassment. This can be really problematic and is ...


7

I would focus on the lying and sneaking around. As you have mentioned, you feel there is no way around the use of the programs. I, personally would talk to her about Facebook and have her account frozen - the user agreement on Facebook states that users must be 13. I would proceed with talks about trust. I think I would make her re-earn the right to use all ...


6

I exposed myself to a lot of terrible things whilst growing up and spending a lot of time on the Internet - things that I feel still affect me today. I had absolutely no supervision on Internet access from the age of about 8, although I greatly wish I did so I might not have seen and done what I have. I believe the best solution is in putting the computer ...


6

We set up an email account for my daughter at age 9 and a blog for her. We also invested a lot of effort educating her about anonymity and trust. Neither email nor blog use her personal name or give away any details other than the city she lives in. She actually chose to use a pseudonym. She has been taught to never post photos, never give away personal ...


6

I strongly Agree with Vaylkyrie's answer that you need to teach online safety above all. But as an addition: teach them by showing them! They ask something you don't know right off your head? Take them along on the way to figure it out. Also, don't limit that to online search. If you have a book that may cover the topic, go find the book, and see if the ...


6

There are 3 things to be concerned about when thinking about teaching your children about how to use search engines: Safety Self-sufficiency Effects on memory One - Safety I'll start this with an anecdote. Back in approximately 2000-2001 was when I first started using the Internet, because we finally had a home computer with Internet access. Back ...


5

One thing that is possible, and happens often enough to be disturbing, is that someone may take your pictures and use them in marketing materials without your approval.


5

The minimum age to use Facebook, per their terms of service, is 13: What is the minimum age required to sign up for Facebook? In order to be eligible to sign up for Facebook, people must be thirteen (13) years of age or older. The minimum age to use GMail and Google Accounts, per their terms of service, is also 13 (in the USA): Age ...


5

First of all, Gmail will allow you to 'delegate' email to another address. my 10 yo daughter has an email address that i delegated to my main gmail address. Dropdown at my name on the screen and i can open her mailbox. I do it regularly. Secondly, if you notified those services, they would delete or block the accounts. Not personally sure that would be my ...


5

I may be able to bring a new perspective to this discussion. Although I am not a parent, I was a child prodigy on the computer. I taught myself HTML when I was 8, and I learned tons of super useful skills from the ages of 10-16 that helped me start a career without a college education. Did I get exposed to a lot of porn and other inappropriate content? Of ...


5

Unfortunately a lot of the Internet is a 'Wild West' environment - you cannot completely prevent cyber bullying. That said, there are a number of options which can help. I'm guessing you are not a parent, but this topic is likely to be of interest to parents and children alike. Facebook has a specific anti-cyber-bullying team that you can report incidents ...


5

You use the same approach you would use for just about any other "how to protect my children" question. Step 1: educate yourself. The first thing you have to do is educate yourself. What does your child do online, and where are the risks they're going to face? If you have a good relationship with your child, you can ask them about it directly. You can ...


4

I would also consider time caps like you would consider for television: perhaps 1-3 hours per day depending on the age. Would be glad to hear in the comments what caps parents are using and how are they enforcing them.


4

I use Trend Micro software on all of the computers in my house, which also includes internet filters. As suggested in other posts, I started out with very strict rules on which websites the computers could allow. My kids (now 12 and 10) each have their own logins so that I can set up different rules for each. We regularly discuss what types of sites they ...



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